Alcoa breaks ground on $90-million plant
by Michael Ouellette
New plant will produce alloys used in extrusions, forgings and sheet and plate applications across aircraft structures, including airplane wings and fuselage elements.
LAFAYETTE, Ind.—Alcoa has begun construction of a new $90-million, 115,000 square-foot greenfield aluminum lithium facility.
Adjacent to its existing Lafayette plant, the expansion will produce more than 20,000 tonnes of aluminum lithium and cast round and rectangular ingot for rolled, extruded and forged applications.
Announced last year, these newly-patented aluminum lithium alloys are aiming for dramatically lighter and lower-cost airplanes compared to composite alternatives.
The alloys are used in extrusions, forgings and sheet and plate applications across aircraft structures, including airplane wings and fuselage elements.
“Our primary role as aerospace solution providers is to help the OEMs reduce fuel consumption per seat mile,” said Eric Roegner, president at Alcoa Forgings and Extrusions. “Our aluminum lithium supply chain will be the premier operation in the world and this specialty alloy will be flying on the next generation of aircraft.”
The expanded facility will create 75 permanent jobs and 150 construction jobs. Production of its first aluminum lithium is planned by the end of 2014.
Alcoa’s Lafayette investment is being supported by the Indiana Economic Development Corp.